Table of Contents

News 12 Dec 2008

Friends Peace Teams’ Indonesia Initiative Report
December 2008
by Nadine Hoover, Coordinator

1. Fundraiser spaghetti dinner again this month turned out great. We raised about $1,400. Many people heard about the fundraiser and dropped donations off at the hair salon since they could not make it to the dinner. Rather than the usual 10 minute talk, Sarah spoke for about 15 minutes and I spoke with slides for about 45 minutes. People were grateful to be caught up. I also did a presentation to the Hornell Unitarian Universalists.

2. I met with Garry Thomas, a new New York Yearly Meeting representative to Friends Peace Teams, and rediscovered how central it is for me to have and share a message with people in the U.S. that we are children of God, that love and truth are alive everywhere and prosper, that conscientious objection to war and gaining a sense of peace and security through alternative service or supporting someone engaged in alternative service is critical to our understanding and place in the world. We can all take this message out in ways that give lots of people the opportunity to talk about their faith and fears and understandings and confusions. Our country needs more public talking. Asking for contributions can be a minor last footnote at the end and whatever it brings in is fine.

3. Janet Hough gave me some references. I’m reading “The Fourth Circle: A Political Ecology of Sumatra’s Rainforest Frontier.” She helped me understand the Ecosystem, National Park and World Heritage designations are all different maps with different boundaries and regulations in the same area. Gabriel Thoumi is working directly with such projects around the world and has offered to answer questions and look at tracking data. I am still looking for someone from Cornell.

4. Jamie Carestio, a potter from Alfred, living up near Rochester, will be in southern Thailand in January with his friend, Ally, working at an orphanage. He said that they would come down about January 22nd to work with us on the water filter systems. Everyone I speak to in town who knows him speaks very highly of him. I will not be able to take them to Aceh, though. I do hope that Pak Yuli from Jogja can come up and help us too, but I have not heard confirmation of that yet.

5. The Indonesia Government is closing Aceh again. It is extremely difficult to get a permit to go to Aceh. SHEEP wrote a letter for me to get a permit. Without the support of a national or international organization with direct registered working ties to the area, I would not be permitted to get in. I won’t be able to get Jamie or Ally into Aceh.

6. I am leading an AVP advanced workshop at my house this weekend. We have one participant from the Redemption Center in Brooklyn, a home to assist formerly incarcerated people to stay out of jail. We also have one participant from Bolivia, here staying at Oakwood Friends School in connection with the Bolivia Quaker Education Link. Others are from Maine, Rochester, Buffalo and around our area. It will be interesting.

7. The vision shaping plans for next year has been changing. At first my sense was that I should go for “the duration,” not knowing how long it would be. Therefore, I imagined, ‘Okay, I’ll go, write, live cheaply and see where this goes.” But as it has evolved, there are many considerations in terms of visas (it’s hard to stay over three months), the Friends Peace Teams face-to-face meeting in Santa Monica (the end of March next year), the cost of tickets (not reasonable to go from Jakarta to LA and back again just for a meeting!) and my sense that I’ve gotten about as poor as a I want to be (getting poorer seemed more isolating and restricting than feels right just now). Financially I can handle the three months, get a visa and maybe contribute all I can to stabilizing the legal status of the refugees, which is the main goal at this time.

I have learned a lot more about the ecosystem and the politics involved and the water systems. If Pak Yuli actually comes in January as I hope, in three months it should be clear how that is working. I feel like I have gotten really good contacts from Janet Hough and her husband (with the UN), Gabriel Thoumi and possibly the author of the book above. I think I can afford to go for three months and will know a lot more then. It feels like it would be better to put myself into this for three months and “do what I can.” I will throw myself into it, come home in April and settle in to a writing schedule.

8. A teenager, Kayla DeRoller Clark, has inquired about going to Indonesia with me. So I am planning an Indonesia Peace Teams’ Work Camp July 25 (from NYYM) through August 22, 2009. Please announce it, make flyers, let people know and invite them to join me. All they have to do is write me a letter to my email with: Outline your experience with AVP. Describe your enthusiasm for this trip to Indonesia. Outline how you might share what you learn upon your return.

9. Pamela was successful in getting the four-page II Newsletter produced, duplicated and mailed!!! Her family all chipped in over the Thanksgiving holiday. That is so great! Thank you so very much. I hope people feel like you can talk to friends, family, others and small groups about this work and why it is so important to you. We need to share our message. If you would like copies, please let Pamela Haines know.

10. I have translated all but the last two pages of the trauma healing workshop manual. I went to Brooklyn with Lee Norton and Sarah Mandolang. We met with the Redemption Center staff, did a two-day intensive trauma recovery session with the Director, Mark Graham, and spent a final day with the staff again. Their mission is to help people transition out of prison, to find places to live and work. Mark served 23 years in prison and was active with AVP and clerk Friends Meetings for decades inside. He and most of the other residents are severely traumatized by their lives before, during and after incarceration. They require people to be active in AVP workshops to stay at the house. We hope to help them learn how to support themselves and each other in trauma healing as well as offer social reconnection supports to those transitioning out of prison. We then spoke at 15th Street meeting on the three-day AVP Advanced Workshop on Trauma Healing, which we will conduct April 24-26, 2009 in NYC. After I return. There are so many people interested in the workshop that we may try to do another one in western NY June 12-14, 2009.

11. Lee and I have been working with Iraq War veterans. Now we are working together with people returning from US federal prisons. She works with Philippino children rescued from commercial sex and I with Indonesian war survivors. We are considering the possibility of visiting each other’s sites next summer to assist across these two locations. We are also considering taking one week a month to write / work together starting next May. We will see where this leads.

12. I have purchased a ticket to go to Santa Monica for the Friends Peace Teams face-to-face meeting March 24-29, 2009. Gay and I plan to do a speaking tour together from March 30 – April 8. We are postponing the Florida/Georgia trip to another time.

13. I am well except that I have calcium deposits building up in my right shoulder, one of which rubbed on the back of the acromial-clavicular joint in the shoulder and caused the collarbone to separate from the shoulder, which is excruciatingly painful. It is healing well and I should be back to work next week. It took me out of work for three weeks. I have found myself eating more calories; I think to subdue the pain. Ah well.